Poligrip Fixodent – Neuropathy
Written by Andrew Sarski on March 1, 2011
Neuropathy is a neurological disorder which may be caused by severe zinc poisoning, such as in excessive exposure to zinc-containing denture adhesives. The symptoms associated with neuropathy may differ depending on what nerves are affected and where they are located in the body, but typically include unexplained pain in the extremities, numbness or tingling in the feet, hands, legs or arms, a change in walking stride, reduced strength or ability to move legs, feet, arms or hands, instability, and lack of balance. If the neuropathy is caused by exposure to the zinc in denture adhesives, discontinuing use of the product will likely return the levels of zinc in the body to normal, but the individual may continue to suffer from permanent loss of nerve function, as well as debilitating tissue damage and muscle atrophy.
Fixodent / Poligrip Use and Neuropathy Connection
The most telling study involving the potentially harmful nature of zinc-containing denture adhesives like Poligrip and Fixodent was published in the Journal of Neurology in 2008. According to the researchers who conducted the study, the four individuals who were tested had developed neurological symptoms typical of zinc poisoning, which may have been caused by long-term exposure to denture creams like Poligrip and Fixodent. Before this study was released, the dangers of excessive zinc exposure were known but had never been tied to the use of zinc-containing denture adhesives like Fixodent and Poligrip. It is now believed that the zinc in denture creams may seep into the body through the gums or may be accidentally swallowed, causing zinc poisoning and copper depletion, also called hypocupremia, which may lead to the development of severe neurological disorders like neuropathy.
Although Poligrip manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline and Fixodent manufacturer Proctor & Gamble have both released statements assuring consumers that their products are manufactured, packaged and labeled according to FDA regulations, the fact that the FDA doesn’t require either product to carry a warning label may limit the validity of their claims. The FDA has classified both Fixodent and Poligrip as low-risk, class I medical devices which means the products do not require warning labels and are also not required to list the levels of zinc contained in their products. If consumers were informed of the potential dangers associated with zinc exposure, a number of instances of zinc poisoning and neuropathy may have been avoided.
Even more telling is this recent action by the Poligrip manufacturer: despite the fact that GlaxoSmithKline issued several statements in the past claiming that Poligrip was a safe product, the company recalled several of their denture cream products in 2010 and announced plans to remove the potentially harmful ingredient, zinc, from future denture adhesive products. Proctor & Gamble however, maintain that their product, Fixodent, is safe to use in the manner for which it was intended, even though the product also contains the allegedly dangerous ingredient, zinc.
A Poligrip / Fixodent Attorney Can Help
Individuals suffering from serious injury potentially associated with the use of Fixodent or Poligrip should contact a defective product attorney as soon as possible to discuss the benefits of filing a defective product lawsuit. The alleged side effects of denture adhesives like Poligrip and Fixodent have the potential to cause long-term pain and suffering for an affect individual, including severe nerve damage and permanent physical disability. If you or a loved one has suffered from neuropathy and you believe Fixodent or Poligrip to be the cause, a defective product lawyer may be able to help you collect reimbursement for your injuries. Qualified defective product attorneys have the knowledge and experience necessary to help defective product victims develop a successful case and collect the compensation they deserve.